Thursday, March 10, 2011

Lobster Corn Chowder

Ingredients for spice essence:
2 1/2 T paprika
2 T salt
2 T garlic powder
1 T black pepper
1 T onion powder
1 T cayenne pepper
1 T dried leaf oregano
1 T dried thyme

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Ingredients for lobster-corn stock:
3 (1 1/4-pound) lobsters
2 ears yellow corn
1/8 cup vegetable oil
2 ribs celery, quartered
2 tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1 yellow onions, peeled and quartered
1 carrot, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 small bulb fennel, cut in 1/2
1 head garlic, cut in 1/2 horizontally
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1/2 T salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

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Ingredients for the lobster-corn chowder:
2/3 cup unsalted butter
2 cups finely chopped leeks, white part only
1 1/3 cups finely chopped celery
2/3 cup finely chopped yellow onions
2/3 cup finely chopped red bell peppers
2/3 cup finely chopped yellow bell peppers
2/3 cup finely chopped green bell peppers
1/2 cup chopped green onions
corn kernels from lobster-corn stock (see above)
2/3 cup peeled, seeded, and finely chopped tomatoes
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/3 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup brandy
1/3 teaspoon cayenne
1 pound Idaho potatoes, peeled and diced
1 2/3 cups heavy cream
lobster meat from lobster-corn stock (see above)
1/3 cup assorted fresh soft herbs (parsley, chervil, basil, and chives)
1/3 pound crisped and crumbled bacon

1 teaspoon spice essence

lobster-corn stock

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Preparing the lobster-corn stock:
Bring a large stockpot of water to a boil. In batches, plunge the lobsters headfirst into the boiling water and cook, covered, for 5 minutes. Transfer the lobsters with tongs to a large bowl filled with ice water to cool. When the lobsters are cool enough to handle, crack the shells, remove the tail and claw meat, and coarsely chop. Reserve the shells for the stock, cover and refrigerate the meat.

Cut the kernels from the corn and reserve for the chowder. Reserve the corn cobs.
To make the stock, in a very large clean pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the shells and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. Add the corn cobs and remaining stock ingredients and stir well. Cover with water by 2 inches (about 1 gallon) and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until reduced by half, about 4 hours, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and strain through a fine mesh strainer. Set aside.

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Preparing the lobster-corn chowder:
In a very large pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the leeks, celery, bell peppers, and 1/4 cup green onions, and cook, stirring until soft, about 5 minutes.

Add the corn kernels, tomatoes, garlic, salt, pepper, spice essence, and red pepper, and cook, stirring, for 4 minutes. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until the flour smells slightly toasted, but does not brown, about 3 minutes. Add the brandy and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the lobster stock and cayenne, and stir well to incorporate. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes. Add the potatoes, stir well, and simmer until tender, about 16 minutes. Add the cream, lobster, remaining 1/4 cup green onions, and assorted herbs, and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes.

Remove from the heat and stir in the bacon. Adjust the seasoning, to taste. Ladle into bowls and serve.


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